|Title||Productivity of creosotebush foliage and associated canopy arthropods along a desert roadside|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1991|
|Authors||Lightfoot DC, Whitford WG|
|Journal||American Midland Naturalist|
A sampling study was designed to test the hypothesis that creosotebush (Larrea tridentata) shrubs along a roadside were larger, more vigorous and supported greater populations of foliage arthropods than shrubs growing 20 m away from the road margin. Structural and chemical attributes of shrubs and associated foliage arthropods were measured. Roadside shrubs were larger, had denser foliage, more flowers, higher foliar nitrogen contents and lower foliar resin contents than shrubs growing away from the road. Foliage arthropod densities were significantly higher on roadside shrubs. Sap-feeding herbivores dominated numerically and accounted for most of the differences in arthropod abundances between roadside and nonroadside shrubs. Numbers of foliage arthropods were positively correlated with shrub size, density and foliar nitrogen contents, and negatively correlated with foliar resin contents. These findings, in concordance with other studies, indicate that in arid environments productive, vigorous plants are preferred hosts for herbivorous insects.